Summary: It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.
How to Help People Find Eternal Life as Jesus Did – John 4:7-39
Statistics:George Barna reports some amazing facts. Most Americans, including profession Christians, believe that people are inherently good and that there primary purpose is to enjoy life as much as possible.
a). 38% believe that it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.
b). 44% believed that all people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious beliefs.
c). 55% believed that if a person is generally good or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in heaven.
Quote:It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.
Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162.
1. APPROACH PEOPLE TACTFULLY. (John 4:7) When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” Even though Jesus knew that this woman was from a hated mixed race and she was living in sin with a man who was not her husband, the Lord showed her love. Tact is the skill to deal with people in a skillful manner. A tactful person has a delicate perception of the right thing to say or do without offending. The most tactful people have acquired the art and science of dealing with difficult situations and people in a calm, poised and respectful way. Jesus shows us that the gospel is for everyone no matter what his or her social position, background or past sins. The Lord gives us a great example of how we should be prepared to share the gospel at any time and in any place with tactful diplomacy. Tact shows us how to cross all barriers to share the gospel. Is it little wonder why most people who come to Christ do so as a result of the invitation of someone they respect and trust?
2. AROUSE A DEEP INTEREST. (John 4:10) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Jesus shows us how to stir up people’s motivation to learn more about spiritual matters. People who consistently bring others to faith in Christ have learned how to evoke some kind of feeling or positive response for the gospel. Teachers tell that it is often not what we say but how we say it that determines the effective of our communication. Jesus told the woman that she could get living water that would quench all of her emotional, physical and spiritual thirst forever. This intrigue the woman so much that she wanted to know about this living water. Only Jesus is able to satisfy the thirsty soul and fill the longing heart with what is good. Ask the Lord to give you greater skill in arousing people’s interest for spiritual solutions to their problems.
3. CREATE AN INTENSE DESIRE. (John 4:15) “The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” Many physical desires parallel our spiritual needs. Jesus knew just how to use this analogy to put salt on the woman’s mind so she earnestly begged for the living water. The woman did not even understand all that the living water consisted of but she knew she needed it in the worst way. People do not have to understand everything about salvation as long as they have a hunger in their heart for a solution to one of their needs.
4. PRODUCE A SENSE OF CONVICTION. (John 4:16,17) Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back. I have no husband, she replied.” The Lord Jesus knew exactly how to use the word of God to allow the Spirit of God to bring conviction of sin to the woman without turning her off. To convict is to bring one to a realization of guilt deep within one’s conscience. Ask the Lord to use you and the word of God to bring to bear the truth upon the conscience of the person you are speaking to. This may take time, but with patient and persistent prayer you will see how the Spirit of God creates conviction in the most calloused mind.
5. CORRECT A MISUNDERSTANDING. Jesus said, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has not come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:22-24) The word of God is profitable for reproof and correction. To correct means to remove errors and to help a person to change from wrong to what is right. Nobody likes living a lie. God has put a conscience in each of us but it needs to be awakened (Romans 2) Jesus stated the truth about worship so that the Samaritan woman could find true fellowship, forgiveness and communion with God by defining true worship. The highest priority should be to bring true worshipers to the Father. We find our greatest fulfillment when we praise God and fulfill the chief purpose of man. (Westminster confession: The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever)